Archive for August, 2004

Monday, August 30th, 2004

Strindberg helium

Sunday, August 29th, 2004

The Vocabula Review – August 2004 – Table of Contents – Helping get our language-act together.

Sunday, August 29th, 2004

kissthisguy.com – – The Archive of Misheard Lyrics

A Day of Rest?

Sunday, August 29th, 2004

Not really.

Offered the front yard the attention it deserved. As I think I’ve said before, I find the activity of hand-weeding and getting the house in order provides me with a lot of time to think. The plethora of metaphors come quickly, and I take mental notes to remember to use them appropriately when they can help someone grapsp a difficult concept.

Sherry came across a fantastic deal on some vintage merchandise at a local estate sale. The downside is, she needed a rather large chunk of change to make it her own. On the surface, the only appropriate reaction, considering our current financial situation, would be to pass up on this. Maybe later when things are more stable. However, she convinced me this merchandise would move quickly on eBay or in the shop, and that our return on investment could be in the 200-300% range, if not higher. We agreed to tap the savings for this. She came back excited – she hit the MOTHERLODE! The plan is to begin posting this online and get our return on investment sooner, rather than later.

Again, perhaps my giving a bit more attention to the retro-resale business can create the income necessary to stay solvent while pursuing the independent contractor business as well…

On the personal development front, spent a few hours investigating online Flash resources, usergroups, and such. Sent in reservation to attend the OC Flash User Group, which meets the first Tuesday of each month. Rubbing elbows with the knowledgeable can increase my network, as well as provide possible connections to subject-matter experts if needed down the road.

Developed a Powerpoint template for weidemannia design. Carries the color scheme through from the website and business card. Wanted it to be clean, and not cluttered with images that would distract from the content. After all, I envision that most of the content for my presentations will have more graphics and illustration, and having imagery in the template would reduce its impact.

Put together a brief presentation that captures business system concepts. This will be used to serve as a calling card, as well as a freebie give-away to potential clients, to demonstrate my ability to use graphics to convey complex relationships. Could reinforce my ability to provide services to businesses in a fashion similar to what a sketch-artist does in court where cameras are not allowed. Super nichey.

Friday On My Mind

Saturday, August 28th, 2004

Even though the phrase immediately brings to mind the Australian music group “The Easybeats” from the 60’s, I’ve discovered there is more to life than music. (Although, not much more.)

Started the day with a morning walk/swim and clocked in at 214lb.

Spent most of the day working on the functional design of the web application, designing in maximum modularity to allow it to be enhanced easily for individual clients. This application will be simple and elegant. As Robert Browning once penned less is more. I will attempt to remain true to delivering on this goal.

Teleconferenced with RF this afternoon and we discussed the business side of our relationship. Developing a business plan to keep us aligned on the mission. Decided to create a new entity so we can each pursue other activities independently, using our sole proprietor status. This weekend I plan to devote a lot of time and energy to getting these organizational ducks in a row. Will be chatting again on Monday afternoon.

[I do have to wash the car tomorrow, in case that guy from earlier in the week decides to stop over.]

Manana.

Accomplishments of the Day

Friday, August 27th, 2004

Began the day with my walk/swim. Invigorating! Should have started this routine years ago. Weigh in: 216lb.

Decided I LOVE the new home office arrangement. Having an additional table/desk changes my entire perspective on working from home. I’ve created my homecubicle with a view of the pool. Ran to Staples to get a few desk accessories.

Ended up with 2 bids on the book of Hitler WWII war photos on ebay… closes in 2 days so lets see how high it goes. Still waiting on the PayPal confirmation on the comics. Hopeful.

Submitted application for business corporate card. Need to isolate business and home expenses.

Moved ahead with reorganizing my various webs and domain names, created a few aliases and cleaned things up in preparation for the web application that RF and I are putting together. Built an initial skeleton to begin defining flow of the site. My personal goal is to make this: Simple and Elegant. Taking a very methodical and disciplined approach to storyboard and do the conceptual design work before diving into the coding. Also thought about setting up a Yahoo group where we can collaborate without having to deal with all the email noise. Will discuss it with him tomorrow…

Created an Warhol-like version of a photograph and have discovered some pretty cool techniques in Photoshop that make it pretty straightforward. Since it was a request from a friend, I won’t post the image here. But will perhaps create another one using a picture of my dog, CD. He won’t mind if his face is plastered all over the net.

The Founders of KM

Friday, August 27th, 2004

The Founders of KM
Originally uploaded by epiclectic.

At a recent garage sale, I came across this old photograph tucked away in a dusty box full of discarded business magazines. Pencil notes on the back of the photo state “the gang getting together before attempting to actually build a marketing and sales knowledge community one more time – 1928”.

The Lord Giveth and Taketh and Giveth

Thursday, August 26th, 2004

Since my last post, here’s what has been happening in my world…

eBay – Turns out that selling the comic books to the guy from Uruguay is getting complicated. The international shipping costs were excessive, so he wanted to use a Miami mailing address – but needed to confirm it. Also, he decided to have a friend in Spain (?) pay via PayPal, but her account seems to be inactive and is trying to straighten things out. Since I’m in no real rush, will just sit back hope that it works itself out.

The Car! The Car! – Received a call from a knife dealer in the San Fernando Valley asking about the car. Seemed willing to drive 60 miles to check it out. Depending on whether he successfully sells his car this week, he may stop over this weekend. If so, that would help relieve some of the impending financial issues. Also, one of the neighbors stopped me this afternoon and wanted to know the specifics on the car – she had a potential “buyer” on her cellphone, and was playing middleman asking questions and providing answers into the phone. So… will continue hoping that someone bites the bullet.

Door of Opportunity Opens – Monday afternoon, I ended up chatting with RF, mentioned in my post from a week ago. Turns out that our previous buisness venture is of even more interest now – expecially since my time and talents are very available. After speaking for an hour or so, I believe there will be some immediate application for lmy total immersion in Flash ActionScript last week. Also the work I had done for him two years ago is still valid and I can pick up where we left off. While we are still in the planning and development stage, I am very excited about this opportunity. Working out the legal stuff right now. If this could become a career, it would rate a “10” on the “follow your passion” scale. FUN STUFF!!!

Door Closes – Today, I received a call from the consultant with whom I’ve been conversing. Unfortunately, the possibility of providing some consulting services for the customer that was being targeted seems nil. In light of their current situtation and lack of progress, the company seems a bit unclear as to which path to take but is attemting to solve it from within. However, they know I am still available to help them if necessary. Will keep in constant touch with the consultant, who indicated he will be passing my resume to others that he thinks might be able to use me.

Someone Might Be Knocking – MO sent me an email today indicating he had lunch with BJ, someone with whom I have worked in the past. Apparently, after BJ was “released” from the company a few years ago, he went to work with a major CAD software vendor. Now they are contemplating developing a KM component to compliment their software suite. Since they might need a KM consultant, MO asked if he could forward my contact information – I told him absolutely. Will see what happens..

[Its really comforting to know that people with whom I have built prior friendships, are actively networking to get me connected. Great feeling.]

Home Office – Ran to IKEA today and picked up another tabletop and legs. If I am going to work out of my home office, I need more table space. I have now successfully crammed two 5′ x 2’6″ tables, a dresser, an armoir (with the tv), a 7′ tall bookcase and 2 – 7′ tall x 40″ wide shelf units (where all the records are) AND a leather recliner into a 12′ x 12′ bedroom. Actually, it is extremely efficiently layed out (my background in space planning comes through!) and should help.

THE John Kerry and The Electras

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

Well, it could have been worse had the young “whipper-snapper” decided to experiment with 8mm gay porn reels in his youth. Get a copy of the rock-n-roll album presidential candidate John Kerry recorded in 1961 with six of his schoolmates at St. Paul School in New Hampshire. Destined to be forgettable.

ACTION: John Kerry and The Electras

Monday, August 23rd, 2004

Blowing Up Gotti – Some good life lessons. Right, FOR THE INSANE!

Building Momentum

Monday, August 23rd, 2004

Started out the morning with a brisk 45 minute walk, followed by 18 lengths of the pool. Beginning to look forward to this daily ritual to introduce some physical change in my life. Its a good thing.

Completed my self-directed training using the “Teach Yourself Flash MX ActionScript in 24 Hours”. Ok. I have a good overview and understanding of the basics. However, it got a bit vague when it went into CGI and Javascript since I don’t have a background in either. However, the author insinuated that if you are a Flash developer, you probably aren’t expected to be a whiz at CGI, so ask someone else for help. Good. Thought it was me. [But, if you know me, I will probably be adding CGI and Javascript to my toolkit – albiet in small chunks.] Next step is to start going through another book I picked up, “Visual QuickPro Guide – Macromedia Flash MX Advanced”. Complete saturation.

Helping out Sherry last week, I posted some Spanish-language comic books to sell on eBay. Well, they ended up going for almost $4 bucks apiece. Couldn’t believe it. Traded a few emails today with the Uruguayan buyer.

BUSINESS BOOK CONCEPT: Idea came to me in the shower this morning after my workout. Deals with organizational change, and that there may get to a point when a corporation just wears out from all the change initiatives and loses its functionality. I’ve got the metaphor defined, and will begin fleshing out the details. But my gut says that this might be something that could some day deserve an article somewhere… who knows. [Read: delusions of grandeur.]

Rollovers, Scrolling and Pull-Downs

Sunday, August 22nd, 2004

Got up early and dove back into the ActionScript book. If I let too much time pass between sessions, I lose the momentum, since most lessons build off the previous one. But it does get a big hard on the ass, sitting on one of those crappy, leather “executive” office chairs. [Can someone please tell me why they can’t manufacture these with a dense-enough foam in the cushions so they retain their shape when someone sits on them?]

Checked the LinkedIn portal to see what was new. Entered “knowledge management” and “California” into the search engine to see what came up. Only 20 jobs showed up, but spotted a listing for Gateway in Irvine. Position for a senior manager of the eSupport and customer service group. Reading the job req, I could check off all of the boxes. So – even though you have been reading about me pursuing other directions – I ended up creating a new version of the resume and filling in the online job application. Strictly an impulse thing. Received the confirmation emails from Gateway that the application was received. Don’t know whether to expect a call or not. But I would rather be in a position where a company wants to hire me, and I have to turn them down, than the other way around.

Sketched out some thoughts for a website that would be the portal for selling my photo manipulation skills for people on a budget. Will use Flash to glitz up the site and put some of my new skills to the test. In addition to creating a potential revenue generator, I end up with an online portfolio of my work.

One Hit Wonders

Saturday, August 21st, 2004

Discovered this nifty little site that is a great integration of chat forums, artist profiles and links to Amazon and other providers. I like the way that context-sensitive links are on the artist page. For example, if I’m looking at the Bloodrock 2 page, they have a link for “find your classmates from 1971”. Adding to my dropping crumbs list, too.

ACTION: One Hit Wonder Central

Saturday, August 21st, 2004

Transgender/ Crossdressing/Transsexual/Transvestite/Female Impersonator & Drag Queen Clothing /Lingerie – OK. The ONLY reason I came across this site was because Google ads served this to one of my pay-per-click ads, and I am trying to drive up revenue. Seriously.

ABOUT FANTASY VINYL

Saturday, August 21st, 2004

If you frequent weidemannia, you might have noticed the past few postings titled “Fantasy Vinyl”. [If you missed them, check out the links on the Previous Posts listing on the right-hand menu.]

On first glance, they seem like regular album covers. Right? But if you are perceptive – and I think you are – you will have determined that some of the faces shown on the covers don’t seem to match the images in your memory. And you are right. [If you click the Fantasy album cover, you will see the original album cover for comparison.]

MY GOAL: Alter history for the better!

OFFER – I would love to create a personalized, custom album cover for YOU, too! Simply drop me an email, attach a few of your pictures you would like me to incorporate, let me know which album cover you want “enhanced”, and I’ll create your cover for absolutely NO CHARGE for the time being. Browse my gallery of album covers at Epiclectic’s Vintage Vinyl – to get some ideas.

Wouldn’t it be great to not only tell your friends you were with the band, but you can SHOW THEM THE ALBUM COVER TO PROVE IT?

MY MISSION: To Make YOU Smile. Period.

Saturated in ActionScript

Saturday, August 21st, 2004

Created a new version of a logo for Arizona Robbins Designs. Moved from hand sketches to scanning the sketches into Photoshop and then manipulating scale, layer, color, etc. Also, introducted a formal font to the design. Ended up creating a web page that contains all of the comps, and then using email to keep in touch with the client, located in Tennessee.

After that, I spent most of the day continuing to soak up the ins and outs of ActionScript. I’m getting smarter. Better watch out.

My better half, Sherry, received a call from the owner of her antique mall in town. A woman, whose mother had passed away a few months ago, now has a house full of “old stuff” and rather than hosting an estate sale “mad house”, let the owner know that she would interested in selling directly to individual dealers – at a fair price – before it went public. Well, while funds are not exactly bulging in the household right now, there are a few hundred dollars that could be used to help her buy inventory. So, we headed over there to see what we could find. I went with her in case there was a need for any “heavy lifting”.

Well, she came away with a MOTHER LODE! If there was a bigger chunk of “liquid assets”, she would have bought everything in the house. Based on her preliminary estimates, she will easily get a 600 – 700% return on her investment.

Gets one seriously contemplating about this antiquing business as a possible career direction. Fortunately (or unfortunately for some) inventory is continually coming back into the market as people pass on. If one has enough cash on hand to purchase whole homes-full of stuff, you can make a nice piece of change. But it takes money to make money…

IDEA: Create an antique collective. People contribute funds to purchase antiques and receive a percentage return on investment when it sells.



Now that the BMW ad is now online with Autotrader.com, I received absolutely NO more calls today. I’m beginning to wonder if anyone goes there anymore. (Perhaps people are getting a bit tired of the internet… nah.)

World-wide Brain Assist

Saturday, August 21st, 2004

I was reading a thread in the Record Collector’s Guild forum the other day, and an image flashed in my head of a unique record accessory I had when I was 4 or 5 years old. In brief, you put the record on the turntable, then stick this multi-faceted mirror box on the record and then watch an animated cartoon character perform some antics. That’s all the detail I could recall.

So I posted a question to the forum thinking that someone else might have come across something like this in their travels. Well, about 10 minutes later, a member posted a link to a site that had all the information I was looking for – and more.

Click the pic to check out this nifty toy!

From the homepage of the Internet Museum of Flexi / Cardboard / Oddity Records:

“Once bound by cereal boxes, held in the pages of a magazine, wrapped up in envelopes sent through our postal system or given away casually with some product, these bits of paper and plastic yearned to be set free to fulfill their destiny as… PLAYABLE RECORDS. Come and take an aural and visual journey through a partial history of these strange but true recorded anomolies.”

ACTION: Internet Museum of Flexi/Cardboard/ Oddity Records

Expanding Capabilities and Network

Thursday, August 19th, 2004

Started the morning with a half-hour walk (solo, no dog or wife) and followed by swimming 10 lengths of the pool. I like getting the blood moving and am intentionally forcing myself to do this every morning to make it a habit.

Decided that Thursday’s are going to be devoted to personal growth. Since I believe that enhancing my Flash MX skills will provide me a better basis for applying Flash to meet clients’ needs, I knocked off 4 chapters of my SAMS “Teach Yourself Flash MX ActionScript in 24 Hours” book. I plan on creating a Flash component on my weidemannia design site as a way to display some of my work, and my Flash skills. Have started sketching out a few concepts for a contextual navigation system. Stay tuned.

This morning I received a call from Ann, a local staffing firm recruiter, about a position in a local company looking for a marketing director. While I told her that it is not really the path that I’ve decided to pursue, she told me she would send me a list of contact with a number of large firms she has dealt with. It’s nice to know that she is looking out for me, and is not being driven by putting me in any shit job just to get her cut. Her advice was that networking would be the key to finding the right opportunity for me. We agreed.

And after checking the AutoTrader.com website a few minutes ago, discovered that the Beemer is still not listed… real professional operation, what?

Take A Giant Step

Thursday, August 19th, 2004

It was a good day, today.

Started off doing my part to give back to the EU and co-lead the networking/interview preparation session. Only three members today, so maybe that’s a good sign; fewer people needing help to find employment. Or, it could have been there were only three guys that wanted to do something about it. At end of session, decided the material needs some rework (in my opinion). So, I will rework the handouts to align with the material we are presenting, and post to the newsgroup.

Left the EU office at 1:30pm and met the principal from the consultant company at Starbucks. Had a very enlightening conversation – for two hours. I think there may be some good opportunities in solidifying the relationship. And I received an email later this evening indicating that he and his partner were impressed with my artistic and business skill set. Next step: Perform a ride along with him to a potential client in the south county – possibly early next week.

Left Starbuck’s around 4:10pm and then off to Stadium Brewery for my monthly meeting with one of my old buddies from the marketing team. Great conversation, appetizers and the house’s Amber. Left a bit after 7:00pm.

Finally, received confirmation that weidemannia design is now officially registered as a fictitious business name in the state of California. I AM SOMEBODY!

All in all, a good, productive day. Feeling positive!

ACTION PLAN: Continue learning ActionScript and develop Flash MX interactive capabilities. Highly desireable creative art skill to have. Also, run through the Illustrator tutorials to understand how to do the cool stuff that is so easily done in Flash.

Oh, in case you were wondering, the BMW is still not showing up on Autotrader.com. Looks like another call is in order in the morning.

Knocking On The Door

Wednesday, August 18th, 2004

A couple of things happened today that appear positive on me being able to move in the new independent direction.

BUT, selling off the BMW is a critical activity, because it will ease the financial situation. The revised price is shown in the latest hardcopy issue, but still not showing up on the AutoTrader.com website. I called and they confirmed something was wrong on their part, but 12 hours later, it is still MIA. [Damn that internet technology.]

Opportunity 1: Had a phone interview with one of the two principals of the local consulting firm about opportunities. After a 15 minute phone chat from his car, we agreed to meet tomorrow at their office. I believe there are real synergies with what they do, and the skills and passion I bring. He indicated that some of their goals have had to move to the back burner since they have been so busy. Bringing on consultants to help execute their work, allows them to begin focusing on their goals. Perhaps, I can be a means to help them achieve those ends. Bottom Line: Looking forward to an upbeat meeting. While he said there may not be any full-time work right off the bat, they have a few irons in the fire. I’m encouraged, since this type of consulting is exactly the direction that I want to move, as I head toward being an independent contractor/consultant.

Opportunity 2: A Greenvillian colleague and friend IM’d me from Houston, after running into one of my contacts from the past. I was asked to contact “RF”, who said that he may have something that is “right up my alley”. If it is based on what I had done for him in the past, it could be Flash related. Sent off an email to him and am awaiting his call or reply. RFs a good guy.

Remaining positive about developments.

Wednesday, August 18th, 2004

DRINKSMIXER.COM cocktails and drinks – THIS is the reason the internet was invented. Bringing critical information together and making it available to the world. Thanks!

Last Week In Lake Forest

Tuesday, August 17th, 2004

OK. I know I said in my last post that I was going to update blog this daily. Well, I haven’t; so what are you gonna do, lay me off? Too late. But that said, a lot took place over the last week, so here is a day-by-day accounting for the public record:

WEDNESDAY 11Aug04 – Put in my 4 hour per week payback to EU by assisting with the networking/interview prep portion of the training. Smaller group this time. Probably the widest range of personality types I’ve seen so far.

Called Autotrader to lower the price on the BMW. Its a steal at $25.5k. Let’s see if it gets any callers. (Other than one on the first day it ran, nada. zilch. zero.)

THURSDAY 12Aug04 – After doing some real soul searching, I decided not to pursue the GSA position in Washington D.C.. While it was a long shot, if I were to be interviewed, I believe that I would not have had the skills they desired, and I would not have been happy with the requirements of the job – it would have been a stretch. Add to that the complete disruption of everything involved in a relocation, I decided to shift my focus to things a bit closer to home – or at least home based. [I think it was a good decision, but hopefully don’t look back years from now and look at this as a bad decision. Having recently viewed “Defending Your Life” on cable, I am probably a bit sensitive.]

FRIDAY 13Aug04 – Friday, the 13th. Let’s see what happened. Started off the morning chatting on the phone for an hour and a half with my friend and facilitation coach. We picked up like where we had left off. Looking forward to meeting up with him soon and reconnecting on a regular basis. [My email to him from a few weeks ago, as part of my networking attempt, worked! Maybe there is something to it after all.]

Had lunch with another longtime friend and supporter who happed to be on the coast this week. He informed me that “CP”, one of the spoiled, executive wackos at Bungo Corp, had sent out an email telling everyone he was going to leave the company and pursue opportunities elsewhere. This can only relieve pressure on the overworked marketing team that had to endure his insanity. [I really wonder if the counsel my ex-boss had given me to “ignore CP” indicated that he was really coaxed to get the hell out of Dodge.]

One of the other EU trainers contacted me about meeting for coffee. She expressed an interest in a SCORE sponsored consulting workshop scheduled for Saturday, as well as wanted to know more about knowledge management. Agreed to meet sometime next week, if she didn’t make it to the Saturday session.

Explored the ever growing LinkedIn network, which is now integrated into my Outlook toolbar.

SATURDAY 14Aug04 – Attended the “so you want to be a consultant” workshop. Picked up some great tips. Also, spoke with a couple guys that might be good contacts in the future. One was with Xerox for 20 years and expressed how they never could get KM implemented. Another is a well networked project management type guy. Goes to a lot of the networking events – my guess is those are perfect resources for consultants to find clients. One of the recommended paths is to join a large consulting firm to gain exposure and experience to the process, and develop your own consulting business as a moonlighting effort or on the weekends. The ultimate goal is to transition to self-employment, and not be forced into it. Decided to pursue the job opening with Accenture. Stopped by B&N on the way home and picked up a copy of “Consulting for Dummies.”

[Opportunity knocks, and porch light goes on!]



Received an email from another good friend and supporter with contact information of a consultant we met a few years ago. I checked out his website, Parnassus Consulting, and realized that THIS is what my calling in life is all about. In a nutshell, his team uses graphic illustrations – what they call “strategic illustrations” – as a primary tool in helping organizations visualize with the issues and path forward for dealing with change and improvement. HELL, I’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR YEARS! So, I drafted an introductory email to him, attaching one of my illustrations to demonstrate my work, and sent it off. Anxiously awaiting a response or call. In the meantime, I decided that I probably could easily create a website that would show off my artwork portfolio. Ta-da! Linked it to the design.weidemannia.com website, but didn’t make the link too obvious. Still plan to refine the page, but it is a start.



Ended the day by logging on to Tickle!, taking a few of the premium tests to find out more about myself, and then sent an email canceling the subscription. Figured that this $14.95 continual monthly drain on my bank account was unnecessary.

SUNDAY 15Aug04 – Read a third of “Consulting for Dummies” and helped Sherry out at the shop for a bit, and posted a couple things on eBay for her.

On the job pursuit front, ended up drafting a custom resume for the Accenture position – Workforce Transformation Manager – and completed the online application. It must have been because of all the lessons learned in the past, but before I hit the submit botton on the form, I copied all the ASCII resume that I had drafted into Notes for safe-keeping. (You know how it goes when you finally get the sentence structure just right, and then the application locks up – you lose it. Well, didn’t want that to happen to me.) As luck would have it, the system DID LOCK UP, and said that I had exceeded the 120 minutes allotted to complete the form – which was a lie, since I had only accessed the site 15 minutes earlier. But luckily, I copied the saved content into the form and submitted it again successfully. Received a confirmation email from Accenture that basically said “We got your application. We will contact you if interested.” Real warm and fuzzy, don’t you think? Don’t know what to expect, but even though the position might require a lot of travel, it could be a fantastic learning experience on my way to being an independent contractor.

TODAY 16Aug04 – Read a few more chapters of Consulting for Dummies.

Received a reply from the consultant, who remembered me and expressed an interest in us getting together to chat. He said that a full-time position is not in the immediate plans for his company, but they are using independent contractors for some of their work. He is interested in seeing how we can work together. He mentioned a possible opportunity in Orange County regarding a small firm rolling out a website and a knowledge management system, and suggested we jointly do a pro bono meeting with her. THIS IS ENCOURAGING!



There. That’s all the typing for now. [Note to self: A little bit every day is easier to make routine.]

Love Token

Monday, August 16th, 2004

While listening to a recent garage sale find, I read the notes on the back of the Mystic Moods Orchestra’s Love Token album.

Get a load of this:

“The gift of life is but a LOVE TOKEN; and, I am a witness to the birth of LOVE TOKEN. The operation is complete, and the delivery is an overwhelming success. The implements required, were innumerable years of experienced talent, and a complement of creative minds, working together with hundreds of exhilarating instruments and sounds. This new life is Melody Infinite. The presiding specialists were Richard Clements, Brad Miller, and Michael Shields. The patient – The MYSTIC MOODS ORCHESTRA, and a new guardian – you!

As young lovers grow together, so do the MYSTIC MOODS and their lovers. Every note breathes and responsibly procreates another note, until a realization is reached… that this fresh new life is an eternal love. THE MYSTIC MOODS – a LOVE TOKEN forever!” – Ro Barnwell

I’m gonna barf!

ReadyMade: Feature – A New Spin on Old LPs

Friday, August 13th, 2004

Note that I do NOT condone this destruction of property. It makes it near impossible to play your records, but an interesting way to give new life to your mutilated disks. Actually, I tried this earlier today before having explored the internet, and its amazingly easy to do. I’m trying to think of something other than “a bowl” and will let you now what i come up with.

ACTION: Three Ways to Recycle Your Old Vinyl

Knowledge-At-Work

Thursday, August 12th, 2004

Knowledge-At-Work – Ooops. Somebody get the copyright infringement police on this one! You might have to break him away from monitoring the email traffic, though.

The One and Only

Thursday, August 12th, 2004

Everyone on the planet is familiar with the now infamous record album cover featuring a beautiful woman sitting in a pile of whipped cream. BUT, if you, for some reason, have never ventured into a thrift store and browsed the bins of old LPs, I can guarantee that if you get in your car RIGHT NOW and drive to the nearest Salvation Army, Goodwill or garage sale, you WILL spot a copy of this album.

Amazing but True!

ACTION > Check out Dolores Erickson’s website – The One and Only

Networking On Steroids

Wednesday, August 11th, 2004

Reading the business section of Monday’s Register, I found an article on networking websites. One concept that caught my attention was a highly-praised site – LinkedIn.com.

The idea is pretty simple. Once you register (its free while still in Beta mode), and provide what could turn into a fairly detailed resume of your experience, goals, objectives, strengths and accomplishments. You then sent out invitations to your close personal contacts and suggest they join the “club”. And like any other MLM program, the network grows exponentially. So, within 10 hours of me sending out invitations to 40 people, only 7 of my friends registered. However, my personal network reached over 550 people!!! These are people that are connected and contactable via the personal network.

Now, I am able to search on job openings, and find people in my network that may be connected to those organizations, through their personal network.

I’m doing a crappy job of explaining it, but I suggest you take a look for yourself. I find it intriguing. But the real value is if a job materializes from being involved.

The Process Engineering Toolkit Manager tools for Enterprise Projects – blueprints, plans, documents

Wednesday, August 11th, 2004

One stop shopping. It’s as simple as that…

Something Must Be Done

Tuesday, August 10th, 2004

Looking at the recent quarterly report, it appears that “our favorite business unit” is dramatically behind where it was a year ago. All of its siblings seem to be at least matching last years targets, if not substantially larger than last year.

Could it be that heads are going to have to roll – again? Perhaps at a much higher level than before, since after all, the executives are the ones responsible to the board for hitting their targets. My guess is that there are some collective panties in a bunch nowadays.

If Jean Dixon were here, she might predict that if 1) OFBU goes away, 2) local support of OFBU is no longer required, and 3) more slips of pink may be in the offing…

But that’s me… I could be wrong.

Writing My Book

Tuesday, August 10th, 2004

I devoted the better part of today investigating the requirements for submitting a resume online for a KM-related position with the G.S.A. A quick glance at the job description made it look pretty darn attractive. I kept saying to myself “I’ve done that!”

As I read more and more of the fine print that goes along with applying for a government job, the sun begins obscuration by darkening, forboding and roiling cumulus nimbususus… :) But, since I made my decision to seriously pursue this opportunity, I dove into the red tape with scissors in hand.

I registered on the site, and answered the questions about my veteran status, citizenship, etc. Didn’t take too long. I saved my work and left the site, only to discover that when I logged in a few minutes later, all of the information had been retained! [Why did I have my doubts?] I noted that in the field where you are to cut and paste your resume, I left it blank since I wanted to know what exactly the questions were that I would have to respond to in my document. It says there is a 16,000 character limit on the resume (which, I think amounts to about 4 pages.)

Cross-referenceing the job posting with the various linked reference documents, I discovered that there were an additional series of “vacancy questions” that I would also have to respond to. Didnt’ see them on my printout, so I went back online. Found the additional 16 questions that MUST BE ANSWERED, I realized that this is going to require some serious attention. Simply attaching a resume and hitting submit was NOT going to work. The questions are in pairs, with the first asking if I have experience in a specific area. If the answer is Yes, then the second question requires an essay response – with a limit of 4,000 words each (1 page). I printed it off so I could determine the right plan of attack. Couldn’t fill these out on the fly.

So, for the last 4 hours, I’ve been doing a braindump for each of the essay questions to get the salient points captured. I plan on tomorrow being Captain Wordsmith to make sure they are each targeted responses to the specific questions being asked. The instructions made it clear if I did not complete the form properly, it could be discared without being reviewed. So, we be following the rules this time.

Time estimate: 4 page resume + 8, 1-page essay questions = 12 page job application!!!

While I see this as a time consuming effort, I honestly believe the process has been quite enlightening because it is drawing things out of my past that I had completely forgotten about. As a result, I have a plethora of new PARs to add to my list.

Goal for Tuesday: Complete essay questions. Rework resume to include all of the specific information required per the instructions. [Seems doable to me – at this point.]

Tuesday, August 10th, 2004

The four word film review

Monday, August 9th, 2004

WORDCOUNT / Tracking the Way We Use Language / Cool. Very cool.

Rubbing Elbows With Success

Monday, August 9th, 2004

Someone once said that you need to hang around people that are successful in order to become successful yourself. In an attempt to gain knowledge of something I know very little about, I participated in a half day seminar on small business, sponsored by the city.

As I evaluate the meaning of life, I have a strong gut feeling that I will have my own small business – of some sort – that will provide me with the opportunity of pursuing my passions. And being a realist, it will not happen by simply hoping or praying. Therefore, it is essential that I take action to gain the knowledge I need to make it so.

I now know about the Small Business Development Council, the roles C.P.A.’s, lawyers and bankers play in the care and feeding of small businesses, and the critical importance of having a meaningful business plan in place before anything else. Came home with a stack of references that will serve me as a fantastic primer on the subject.

However, developing a business plan will take some time – a few of the speakers said it took them 18 – 24 months to get them completed. (Yikes!) And that a banker will want to see it before they will consider granting you a loan. So, its obvious to me that I need to start building my business plan for my dream business. [To this end, I have started an outline consisting of each major section, and will begin brainstorming to add pieces to the puzzle. Keywords that will be included: music, records, vinyl, graphics, internet, photoshop, coffee, hangout, baby boomers, retro.]

I also decided to file my “fictitious business name statement” with the county, so that the world will know about weidemannia design. I also posted my “shingle” on the internet, as a starting point for sharing the collateral and links of the business as it begins growing.

BUT, the most important thing that came out of Saturday’s session is that I cannot wait until this potential dream business is up and running. We need to pay the bills now! So my actions will be split into two specific directions: 1) find a job and 2) develop a business plan. Time will be set aside for each. But finding a job IS JOB 1.

I will continue my networking, with an evening session on Monday, and another small business networking lunch on Tuesday at the local Dave and Busters. Ready to start handing out business cards, delivering my 30 second elevator speech, and sending out more hooks. Still will be submitting a resume for the GSA position in Washington D.C. (Its due no later than August 12.)

Also, checked with the old HR group to find out about how I can validate my security clearance. They said that as long as I’m on LOA (through Feb 05), it will remain active. Any future employer could check it out by looking into JPAS (?) or calling the HR contact. This is nice to know, since having active clearance could open some doors – especially with some of the aerospace providers.

Saturday, August 7th, 2004

COLLECTORS’ MOVIES: HORROR

Plan The Work. Work The Plan

Thursday, August 5th, 2004

The past two weeks have really found me getting serious about the pursuit of the next chapter in my life as a worker-bee.

Thanks to the sponsorship of California’s EDD, I’ve been participating in workshops put on by a group of displaced professionals in transition, called Experience Unlimited, or EU for short. Its sole purpose is to help its members find employment. It is run as a club, and you need to become a member in order to take advantage of its offerings and resources. To be a member of the club, you commit to volunteering 4 hours each week to continue supporting the efforts of the club – until you get a job. As a result, there is no cost to take advantage of this support group – its absolutely FREE! From what I’m told, this type of counselling can run into the thousands of dollars.

Well, I completed the workshops last Friday, and can honestly say it is well worth the investment of 5 hours each day. The program covered getting grounded and ridding yourself of slime, developing your 30 second commercial, developing a list of your accomplishments (called PARs), resume development, job search, and networking approaches. However, I think the most worthwhile was the time devoted to the interviews. After a bit of preparation, you go through a mock interview with an HR manager. This is videotaped, and afterward, you are critiqued by the group. Extremely enlightening and makes you much more aware of how other people see you. The following day, you repeat the process with the hiring manager; again videotaped and critiqued. This becomes your “lovely parting gift” at the end of the class. Extremely valuable. Many people may have anxiety about doing it, but it is the best training you can possibly get to prepare you for the real thing.

So, armed with a fresh load of knowledge, my agenda for this week is putting the plan in place, and identifying specific goals and objectives to be accomplished each day. This process of searching for a job is serious, and should be treated in the same manner you perform in a paying job. Bottom line: It is more critical because it MUST be performed successfully in order for you to HAVE a paying job!

While I am keeping detailed records of my activities in a database on my computer, my plan is to summarize my activities dailly on the [eof] blog. This provides a visible record of me achieving my goals, for anyone that is playing the home game.

– Yesterday, spent a good amount of time developing my initial contact list – people whom I will be using as a foundation to build my network. As new names are uncovered, they get added to the list. I can see this being how multi-level marketing schemes work, and if you think about it, isn’t that exactly what I am trying to do? Market myself?

– Identified an interesting position from the EU mailing list that I am considering pursuing. It requires a paid relocation to D.C. and while the job description and salary range sounds perfect, don’t know if I am comfortable with leaving the west coast; at least at this stage of my job search. However, I plan to submit a resume anyway. Remember – You never get a job offer if you don’t apply!

The race has started.

Wednesday, August 4th, 2004

Kitsch, Retro, Gifts, Elvis Presley, Collectables. Here you will find the weirdest and most wonderful gift selection in the world.

Wednesday, August 4th, 2004

The Uppers organization presents: your guide to the pleasures of modern living

Tom Guerra’s Website – Ian Hunter Interview

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004

Some interesting parallels in what the world of “business” has done over the past 30 years.

Tom Guerra’s Website – Ian Hunter Interview: “TG: You’ve been recording for about thirty years – how has the business changed?

IH: I used to be keen and enthusiastic, but as this business has changed I’ve changed as well. I recognize record people a mile away and I try to avoid them. They have no knowledge of what they are doing. I think when I was coming up it was so much better because people were into it. The kids were maniacs and they were coming out of retail, not business schools. Today, they have to keep the board of directors happy, and these people speak the same language. The emphasis has gone from music to accountancy. It’s the same in art or sports or everything. “

Monday, August 2nd, 2004

Albino Blacksheep – www.albinoblacksheep.com